Does Gergiev Have The Time For London?

Valery Gergiev’s tenure as chief conductor of the London Symphony has officially begun, but no one seems to be expecting the maestro to devote a full measure of time to his new band. “Will his reputation for haste and lateness, not to mention workaholic indisposition, see bass player Michael Francis constantly stepping in to lead rehearsals, even concerts, as in Russia last year and at the BBC’s recent Gubaidulina weekend? Will Gergiev really steward the LSO’s continuing evolution, as is surely his job description, or merely drop in from time to time to give us the odd Slavic thrill?”